Simon Callow, Tamsin Greig, and Mark Gatiss to star in new Christmas Sky Original, ‘The Amazing Mr Blunden’

Friday 4 June 2021

Filming has begun on The Amazing Mr Blunden, a Sky Original family adventure for Christmas 2021. Written and directed by Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, Dracula, Doctor Who) and produced by Adorable Media in association with Sky Studios, the 90-minute film will air on Sky and streaming service NOW forming a highlight of the festive schedule.

Starring Simon Callow (Four Weddings and A Funeral, Shakespeare in Love) as Mr Blunden with Mark Gatiss and Tamsin Greig (Friday Night Dinner, Episodes) as Mr and Mrs Wickens. It introduces Tsion Habte and Jason Rennie as Lucy and Jamie Allen, alongside India Fowler and Xavier Wilkins as Sara and Georgie Latimer.

In the Sky Original, Christmas adventure arrives for London teenagers Jamie and Lucy Allen in the form of a mysterious old man, Mr Blunden, who offers their mum the opportunity to become the caretaker of a ruined country house – one that’s said to be haunted. Within its neglected, overgrown grounds, Jamie and Lucy have an encounter with what appears to be a pair of ghost children. But these spooky kids, Sara and Georgie, aren’t actually ghosts. They’ve travelled forwards in time to seek help, believing they’re going to be murdered by the wicked Mr and Mrs Wickens. And Lucy and Jamie’s strange visitor seems to be the key to it all. With his help, they must travel back to 1821 to save Sara and Georgie and redeem their remorseful new friend - The Amazing Mr Blunden.

Jon Mountague, Director of Comedy, Sky Studios, said: “When we learnt that the incomparable Mark Gatiss wanted to update this absolute classic for the 21st century, we thought all our Christmases had come at once. The Amazing Mr Simon Callow and Tamsin Greig complete a trio of national treasures, and introducing an incredible young cast alongside, we couldn’t be prouder – roll on Christmas!”

Mark Gatiss, Director, said: “To me, everything about ‘The Amazing Mr Blunden’ is magical. A ghost story with a sentimental heart. A costume drama with a time-travelling twist. Scary villains, melancholy, laughter and joy. I first came across the wonderful original film at primary school when it was shown on a battered old projector on that most hallowed of occasions - the last Friday before the Christmas holidays. In our new version, as in the book, the Allen family are very much from the modern world. I can’t wait to share the adventure with a whole new audience”.

The Amazing Mr Blunden is adapted from the novel ‘The Ghosts’ by Antonia Barber and the 1972 film of the same name. It was commissioned by Zai Bennett, Managing Director of Content for Sky UK and Ireland and Jon Mountague, Sky Studios’ Director of Comedy. Produced by Richelle Wilder and Isibeal Ballance, directed and written by Mark Gatiss, the show is executive produced by Adorable Media, Can Do Productions, Handmade Films and Jon Mountague for Sky Studios. NBCUniversal Global Distribution will handle international sales of the film on behalf of Sky Studios.

The Amazing Mr Blunden will air on Sky and streaming service NOW this Christmas.

For more information please contact:
Sky: Dominic.Collett@sky.uk

Sky: Molly.Wyatt@Sky.uk

Notes to Editors


About Sky

Sky is Europe’s leading media and entertainment company and is proud to be part of the Comcast group. Across six countries, we connect our 23.4 million customers to the best entertainment, sports, news and arts including our own award-winning original content.

Our technology, including the market leading Sky Q, connects people to everything they love – with entertainment from Sky TV, Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and BBC iPlayer, and apps like Spotify, YouTube, BBC Sounds, Highbrow, Peloton, Fiit, and more, in one place, easy. Our streaming service NOW brings viewers all the enjoyment of Sky with the flexibility of a contract-free service. Through our new B2B broadband provider, Sky Connect, we offer superfast broadband with business-grade 4G back-up to small businesses in the UK.

Building on the success of Sky Originals like Chernobyl, Gangs of London and Brassic, we are doubling our investment in original content by 2024 through Sky Studios. Sky News provides impartial and trustworthy journalism for free, Sky Arts is the UK’s only dedicated free-to-air arts channel making the arts accessible for everyone and Sky Sports, our leading sports broadcasting service, brings customers some of the biggest and best global sporting events from the Premier League to Formula 1 and everything in-between. Our new TV and movie studio, Sky Studios Elstree, which will open in 2022, is expected to create over 2,000 new jobs and generate an additional £3 billion of production investment in the UK over the first five years.

We believe that we can be a force for good in the communities in which we operate. We’re committed to being Europe’s first net zero carbon entertainment company by 2030 and we’re proud to be a Principal Partner and Media Partner of COP26. We take pride in our approach to diversity and inclusion: we’ve been recognised by The Times and Stonewall for our commitment to diversity and we’ve set ambitious 2025 targets to continue to increase diversity and representation. We’re also committed to investing £30million across our markets over three years to improve our approach to diversity and inclusion, and to tackle racial injustice.

About NOW

NOW is the home of brilliant entertainment. We’re one of the UK’s leading streaming platforms with critically acclaimed shows, new and exclusive movies, unmissable sport and epic kids TV – all with no contract. Join in with an Entertainment, Cinema, Sports, Kids or hayu Membership to stream instantly across TV, mobile, desktop and over 60 other devices. Watch on the go and even offline with our app by downloading shows and movies.

Entertainment Members can enjoy critically acclaimed dramas, documentaries and comedies, Emmy award-winning shows, the best of HBO and exclusive Sky Originals. Cinema Members can discover over 1000 brilliant movies, from the latest blockbusters and classic favourites and a new premiere every day. Sports Members cheer on unmissable Premier League, international cricket, F1, golf and more – all live, across 11 Sky Sports channels.

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About Sky Studios

Sky Studios brings to screen unique stories from the very best talent in Europe.

We develop, produce and fund original drama, comedy and documentary for Sky’s 24m customers and beyond, with 52 scripted shows already in production. Building on the success of critically-acclaimed Sky originals including Emmy-winning Chernobyl, Bafta-winning Patrick Melrose and international hits Babylon Berlin and Riviera, Sky Studios is the new creative home of Sky originals, such as The Third Day with Jude Law, ZeroZeroZero from the makers of Gomorrah and The New Pope directed by Academy Award-winning director Paolo Sorrentino.

We’re an agile Studio, seeking out the best untold stories from new voices while working in creative partnership with today’s best writers, producers and on-screen talent to bring viewers stories they wouldn’t find anywhere else.

With commissioning talent and production capability across the UK, Germany and Italy, we understand local tastes across Europe better than anyone else and have plans to more than double our investment in original content by 2024, fully supported and backed by Comcast NBC Universal.

We’re also developing a new TV and movie studio, Sky Studios Elstree, which is expected to lead to the creation of over 2,000 new jobs and generate an additional £3 billion of production investment in UK creative sector in the first five years alone.

Sky Studios invests in the cultural economy and global production sector with equity stakes in nine production companies in the UK and the US, including Great British Bake-Off creator Love Productions, and the premiere reality crime producer in the US, Jupiter Entertainment, creator of long-running hit Snapped. Sky Studios has invested in high quality factual specialists Blast Films and True North Productions; entertainment and format expert Znak & Co (US & UK); natural history producer True to Nature; drama producers The Lighthouse and Longboat Pictures; and growth businesses Sugar Films, Chrysalis Vision, and Talos Films (US).

Sky Studios launched in June 2019. The senior leadership team is Chief Executive Officer Gary Davey, Chief Commercial Officer Jane Millichip, Chief Finance Officer Caroline Cooper, Director of Drama UK Cameron Roach, Director of Comedy UK Jon Mountague, Director Original Production Sky Italia Nils Hartmann, and Director Original Productions Sky Deutschland Marcus Ammon.

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